The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a proposed rule to fully implement the Renewable Fuels Standard designed to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by doubling the use of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. The program, authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, will promote use of fuels largely produced by American crops.
According to the agency release, the new regulation proposes that 3.71 percent of all the gasoline sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists in 2007 be renewable fuel. Last December, EPA issued a rule implementing the Energy Policy Act’s default standard of 2.78 percent for 2006, which will continue to apply through this calendar year. The RFS program is designed to cut petroleum use by approximately 3.9 billion gallons a year in 2012 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 14 million tons annually.
“The RFS was a watershed moment for the U.S. ethanol industry. It has created the fastest growing energy sector anywhere on the planet,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. “The success of the RFS is critical to the continued growth of the U.S. ethanol industry. I want to commend the commitment and dedication of Administrator Johnson, EPA staff and the Bush Administration to getting this program fully implemented as quickly as possible.”
American Coalition for Ethanol Executive Vice President Brian Jennings says,“The enactment of the Renewable Fuels Standard is the single most significant step forward that Congress has taken in decades to secure our nation’s energy independence. The RFS is crucial to the future growth and success of the U.S. ethanol industry, and it is imperative that the proposed rule be simple yet enforceable.”